A tour of the Gaudí buildings of Barcelona

Barcelona is a destination known all over the world for being synonymous with the name of this epic artist and architect. He dedicated his entire life to his work and his buildings are some of Spain’s most spectacular examples of architecture. Yes, we’re talking about Antoni Gaudí – the king of modernism in Barcelona, the Catalan genius.

A trip to Barcelona would not be complete without discovering the work of an artist ahead of his time. Gaudí defied the rigidity of formal architecture until he found his own colourful, imaginative style, through which he and Barcelona flourished.

Here we have put together a guide to some of the most well-known and not so well-known Gaudí buildings in Barcelona. Discover the essence of Gaudí through his most emblematic works.

Portal Finca Miralles (1901-1902)

The Miralles gate to a no longer existing housing estate is perhaps one of Gaudí’s lesser-known designs. Between the years 1901 and 1902, Gaudí constructed the entrance and the wall that today surrounds a quiet residential area. If you’d like to admire Gaudí’s work but avoid the crowds, this is for you.

Col·legi de les Teresianes (1888–1889)

Another one of Barcelona’s better-kept secrets, this Gaudí building was first built as a Teresian nunnery. Even though the building is today a school and cannot be visited, you can still pass by this Gaudí building – inspired by a neogothic castle and religious symbolism – to catch a glimpse of its stunning exterior.

Torre Bellesguard (1900–1909)

Steeped in history and legend, this Gaudí building was constructed upon the ruins of the palace where the ancient king  “Martin the Humane” resided. Also known as Casa Figueres, this manor house captures both gothic and modernist styles.

Parc Güell (1900–1909)

Many have heard of this monumental Gaudí building and park, however few know its story. Parc Güell was originally designed to be a city-garden for the bourgeoisie of Barcelona, home to green courtyards, exquisite chapels, beautiful homes and sprawling pavilions. Despite these plans of grandeur, given its distance from the city, Parc Güell became the public park we know it as today.

Casa Vicens (1883–1888)

Located in the neighbourhood of Gràcia and only recently opened to the public, Casa Vicens is the very first of the Gaudí buildings. Built as a summerhouse for the Vicens family, this exquisite work of modernist architecture is an example of a blossoming Gaudí who aimed at bringing nature and all its splendour to the inside of his structures.

Sagrada Família (1883–1926)

It may be unfinished but the Sagrada Família is, without a doubt, the most renowned of all the Gaudí buildings. Started in 1882, Gaudí dedicated over 40 years of his live to the basilica. This icon of Barcelona and Gaudí’s greatest masterpiece is simply a must-see!

Casa Milà (La Pedrera) (1902–1912)

Known as “La Pedrera” (The Stone Quarry) due to the stony appearance of its façade, the shape of this Gaudí building is reminiscent of the sea. Over the years it has served as a consulate, an event hall and a hotel for the city’s most illustrious guests.

Casa Batlló (1906–1910)

Built on top of an already existing building, Casa Batlló is Gaudí’s most colourful and imaginative work. This Gaudí building is inspired by nature and possibly even based on the legend of Saint George and the dragon. Why not visit for yourself to find out more!

Casa Calvet (1888-1890)

Perhaps one of the subtler of the Gaudí buildings, Casa Calvet was originally built as an apartment block for Pere Mártir Calvet. The textile manufacturer commissioned Gaudí to design a space where he could live, with a ground floor dedicated to his commerce.

Palau Güell (1886–1888)

This opulent mansion built for the Gaudí’s friend Eusebi Güell is located in the heart of the district of Raval. It was opened to the public in 2011 and was the first of Gaudí’s most significant works.

Barcelona would not be the destination it is today if it weren’t for this ground-breaking modernist architect and his pioneering buildings. The above Gaudí’s buildings have become icons of Barcelona, which one is your favourite?